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DNA-Functionalized Single-Walled Carbon Nanotube-Based Sensor Array for Breath Analysis

Wenjun Zhang and Ming L. Wang
Dept. of Civil & Environmental Eng., Northeastern University, Boston, MA, U.S.A.
Abstract—The possibility of routine monitoring of metabolic disorders via breath analysis has attracted considerable scientific and clinical interest for many years. The volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in exhaled breath, which are mainly blood borne, particularly provide valuable information about the subject’s physiological and pathophysiological conditions. Additionally, it is non-invasive, real-time, painless and agreeable to patients. We have developed a wireless sensor array based on single-stranded DNA (ssDNA)-decorated single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNT) for the detection of some physiological indicators in breath. Four DNA sequences were used to functionalize SWNT sensors to detect trace amount of methanol, benzene, acetonitrile, dimethyl sulfide, hydrogen sulfide, and acetone, which are indicators of heavy smoking, excessive drinking, and diseases such as lung cancer and diabetes. Our tests indicated that DNA functionalized SWNT sensors exhibit great selectivity, sensitivity, reproducibility, and repeatability. Furthermore, different molecules can be distinguished through pattern recognition enabled by this sensor array. Thus, it has demonstrated a very high potential to be applied in chemical or bimolecular detection for disease diagnostics and health monitoring. 
Index Terms—DNA-SWNT sensor, wireless sensor array, breath analysis, pattern recognition

Cite: Wenjun Zhang and Ming L. Wang, "DNA-Functionalized Single-Walled Carbon Nanotube-Based Sensor Array for Breath Analysis," International Journal of Electronics and Electrical Engineering, Vol. 4, No. 2, pp. 177-180, April 2016. doi: 10.18178/ijeee.4.2.177-180
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